Photo by Brandi Crowe
Calgary, AB (CKLQ) - Jiri Patera stood on his head, but the Calgary Hitmen got the extra point in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday night.
It was not the start the Wheat Kings wanted as they opened up a six-game road trip at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Brandon didn't register their first shot until 13:02 into the period as they were hemmed in their own end for the majority of the frame.
The Hitmen outshot Brandon 20-4 and appeared to open the scoring when Vladislav Yeryomenko tucked home a rebound for his 6th of the year. After all four officials met at center ice, it was ruled that Carson Focht had interfered with Jiri Patera and didn't allow him to make an attempt on the save. The goal was waved off and kept the game scoreless.
Patera, who was making his eighth consecutive start, would make 39 saves on the night, including all 20 in the first period.
Calgary would open the scoring in the 2nd period as former Vancouver Giant James Malm found himself in the right spot at the right time. Malm took a shot off the end boards and beat Patera to the near post for his 28th of the year.
Connor Gutenberg, who aside from Patera was the best player on the ice for Brandon on Friday got the Wheat Kings on the board midway through the frame. Gutenberg poked the puck off the stick of Egor Zamula and walked in alone, beating Jack McNaughton over the shoulder for his 14th of the season.
Just six minutes later, with the teams skating four on four, Caiden Daley dangled his way into the Calgary end and squeaked his 7th of the year through the five-hole of McNaughton to give Brandon their first lead of the game.
The lone goal of the third period came on the powerplay as Mark Kastelic found the back of the net for the 44th time this year to tie the game up at three.
In overtime, Luke Coleman and Riley Stotts crashed the crease and Stotts, the Winnipeg, MB native would find the loose puck and bury the game-winner into the empty net to give the Hitmen the extra point in their 33rd win of the season.
The win gives Calgary 72 points and keeps them comfortably in the #3 spot in the Central Division. Meanwhile, Edmonton beat Medicine Hat and Red Deer fell in a shootout in Prince Albert. This means the Rebels are in sole possession of the #1 Wildcard spot, while Brandon sits one point back of the Tigers for the #2 Wildcard spot.
Brandon began the road trip with just 20 players and played with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen on Friday. Lynden McCallum is out long term with an upper-body injury while Linden McCorrister is day-to-day with an upper-body injury as well.
The Wheat Kings will continue this 3,980 KM road trip in Edmonton on Saturday night vs the Oil Kings. Game time from Rogers Place is 8:00 MB time (7:30 pre-game show on QCountry Radio)
Shots: 20-4 Calgary
CGY - James Malm (28) (Van De Leest, Stotts) 3:48
BWK - Connor Gutenberg (14) (Unassisted) 8:03
BWK - Caiden Daley (7) (Chizen) 14:23 4on4
CGY - Mark Kastelic (44) (Focht, Zamula) 7:59 PPG
Shots: 10-6 Calgary
CGY - Riley Stotts (19) (Coleman, Zamula) 2:09
Final Shots: 42-21 Calgary